How to sell your story to a movie producer
1. sell/opt to a producer or producer
understand what growers buy:
- stories that fit the right genre and budget range for your board.
- stories that have some presentation elements, like attached talent (marketable actor or director) or some money available.
- Stories that have “hot”: These are scripts, books, plays, or podcasts that may have won popular contests, built an audience, been through a credible development program, or are “talked about “. in the industry (blacklisted [blcklst.com], etc.). these projects give the producer the feeling that success is inevitable.
- stories with a successful underlying ip (such as a book, play, or podcast).
pitch producers, production companies and development executives. The best way to launch is with a tagline and a brief synopsis.
- Research and create a list of producers developing projects in your story genre and budget: use imdb to research similar movies and see who the producers and production companies are. Keep in mind that many don’t accept unsolicited submissions, so you’ll want to do your research to determine which producers will be open to submissions.
- Producer contact information is available through imdb pro (you can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription to the platform).
- Follow their instructions to submit/submit your story.
2. get management representation
Understand who the managers represent:
- writers who have a distinctive voice.
- writers who produce marketable stories.
- writers who have multiple projects available to pitch.
- writers who are the right genre for your company.
- Writers who are easy to work with, welcome constructive feedback, and are “good in a room” (probably more like “good in zoom” these days) .
to introduce managers:
- follow the same steps outlined above in step 1 to approach producers.
- search for imdb movies in the same genre as your story, determine who the writer is, and view the list of writers to find out who the writer’s manager is.
- You can also check out this list of resources from literary managers who represent writers.
3. attend a movie market
You can also meet producers at film festivals and especially in film markets, where some companies are specifically looking for projects to develop. AFM (American Film Market) takes place every year in November. be sure to research which companies to approach based on the genre of film they’re producing and budget levels, as well as whether they’re involved in the development stage (rather than the sales/distribution stage) and any packaging elements they expect that the script or story includes. already has in place.
4. enter a development program
apply to sundance institute, independent film or similar program for writers/projects where you develop your story and have the opportunity to meet directly with producers, directors and/or financiers, or even have a short film from proof of concept made of your story. (Blacklisted partnerships and programs include collaborations with select studios and theaters to offer playwriting labs, residencies, and commissions.)
5. connect with an up-and-coming director or producer to make the film
new filmmakers can be great partners. they are looking for projects to produce or direct to create a “business card” to enter the industry. If you have a short story or content script that can be done cheaply, you can become a produced writer with some cachet. You won’t make any money, but if the project becomes a successful independent film at festivals or elsewhere, it can fast-track your career.
6. create your own ip
add value to your script or story. Consider turning your story into a book, podcast, play, or other intellectual property (IP) that you can produce on your own and be successful (and then pitch and sell the movie rights).
7. use a launchpad
For a fee, you can also connect with producers or managers through a launch pad. You can check out this list of resources from launch pads for writers.
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